Medu Vada

Crunchy from the outside, pillowy soft on the inside, savoury with a hint of pepper, dunked in piping hot sambar or eaten with a chutney, the humble Medu Vada is an indulgence & ritual at the same time. You might call it something as simple as a lentil fritter but for many, the vada is an emotion 😊 It is a popular breakfast/snack item in South Indian & Sri Lankan Tamil cuisines. Shaped like a doughnut with a hole in the centre, these deep-fried delights are made mainly with urad dal (whole white lentils). A variety of additions are made to its batter depending on region & taste-buds. Small pieces of coconut, whole black peppercorns, chopped onions 🧅 curry leaves 🌿 and cumin seeds are just a few ingredients that add flavour here.
The trick is to get the batter light & well aerated so the vadas are fluffy & soft on the inside 😋 There are a few tips that I have penned down here that’ll help you make soft, crunchy vadas. Don’t wait much longer…get going & make Medu Vadas ASAP!

Medu Vada

Course: BreakfastCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time



Deep-fried lentil fritters that are a common breakfast item in Southern India. Eaten with sambar & chutney.


  • Urad dal (whole white lentils): 1 cup

  • Ginger: 1″ piece; finely chopped

  • Curry leaves: A sprig; chopped

  • Green chillies: 2; finely chopped

  • Coriander leaves: 3tbsp; finely chopped

  • Jeera (cumin seeds): 1tsp

  • Whole peppercorns: 8-10

  • Heeng (asafoetida): A generous pinch


  • Wash & soak the dal for 2-3 hours. Strain it well & grind it along with ginger, using very little water so that the vadas can be shaped easily. It should be a smooth batter.
  • Transfer the batter to a bowl. Beat it for 5 minutes using your hand, in one direction, to incorporate air into the batter. This will help make the vadas light & fluffy.
  • Now add the chopped curry leaves, coriander, jeera, whole peppercorns, heeng & green chillies. Also add salt to taste. Mix well.
  • Heat oil in a kadhai. Wet your palm with water & take a big lemon sized ball of the batter onto your palm. Spread it to make a thick, round vada & with the help of your thumb, make a hole in the centre just like a doughnut.
  • Gently slide the vadas into medium hot oil. Flip & fry till both sides turn golden brown. Similarly, fry all the vadas.
  • Serve with piping hot sambar & coconut chutney.


  • Don’t add too much water while grinding the dal.
  • You can add a variety of spices to the batter before frying, like onions, red chilli powder, bits of coconut etc.
  • Be careful while slipping the vadas into hot oil. If you find it difficult to do, you can shape the vadas on a plastic sheet.

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